RAIN LEADER- Can Rainwater Go Into the Sewer? Safety of your home basement

What is a rain leader?

There’s a reason why older and historic structures are most susceptible to rain. But unfortunately, many homeowners need to pay more attention to rain management systems and leaders until it’s late.

Rain leader
A rainwater leader

The rain leader pipe is an underground pipe that joins the gutter. It captures the water that is drained out of your downspouts and gutters. The rain leader keeps it away from your home.

The removal of water from your home can prevent the development of water issues in your basement as well as around the foundation. Rain leaders are typical in older homes built before 1950. You will encounter them in communities such as Towson, Roland Park, Guilford and Homeland.

The rainwater from your home is discharged into the public sewer system that usually receives surface water at a cost and into the septic tank if your property isn’t connected to an existing public sewer.

If rain leaders are installed, the rain that falls off your roofing will flow easily through the gutters or settle in small basins when it rains heavily. 


Rainwater management for homes is focused on protecting your home from the destructive impacts of uncontrolled rainwater. Leaders are an integral part of any rainwater-management plan.

The signs of rainwater issues that Rain Leaders support are:

  • A damp or, more often, basement that has been flooded
  • Water pooling near your home’s foundation and in your backyard
  • Bewildered by basement drains for stairwells
  • The runoff from feces and sediment in the course of rain

It’s no wonder that when it rains, the water runs through your roof. You might have seen the long pieces made of metal or plastic running across the edges of your roof, all the way to the ground, referred to as rain leaders and wondered for what purpose they are used.

Rain leader is an integral component of all roofing systems. The rain leader is located on the lower portion of the roof, usually beneath the gutters or walls and is used to work.

They also keep your costly landscaping and flowers from getting ruined by water and help keep your lawn free of big puddles.

We can put rain leaders in place to bring water to a garden or help to irrigate the soil with the trail of rain. Then, when the water flows over the property, it is diverted to the channel, where we can safely remove it from home.

Size of top leaders

Rain heads must never be smaller than 2 inches wide. The anticipated capacity (in gallons) depends on the dimension of the downspouts. The conductors need to be constructed to contract and expand due to periodic temperature fluctuations that won’t harm the pipes. Like sanitary drains, all storm drains must have a scavenger near the drain’s base within three meters.


Cleaning out the drain is at the top of everyone’s to-do lists for maintaining their home. Cleaning out gutters and downspouts of leaves and other debris is relatively easy; however it could be an unnecessary task (or repair calls) when you don’t inspect the rain leaders of your home too.

Rain leader
A clogged underground drain

Rain leaders are one aspect of a comprehensive rainwater management strategy you can implement for your own property.

  • The rain leader flows through the rain, but the rain snatches everything. Leaves, branches, sewage, moss, and other debris are pushed out of rainwater pipes and could create clogging or blockage.
  • Due to their deepness, rain leaders might also reach their roots. If the blockage persists, the heavy rain could trigger a backup in the rainwater system of the lidar. It can cause the loss of rainwater and can send water to the basement.

Maintaining your rain gutters in good order is essential to ensure that your roof and gutters are properly drained.

If you’re an owner, it’s an excellent idea to inspect your rain leaders and how they are doing in your home in the immediate aftermath of the rain event. It’s crucial to know about the possibility of issues or problems before they develop into serious issues.

Here are some suggestions to assist you in taking care of this vital aspect of your house:

1. Professionally-trained examination

Make sure you maintain your drains’ cleanliness by having them cleaned regularly by a professional. It is especially important if situated in an area with many trees that dump leaf litter and debris down the drains.

2. Annual inspection

Conduct an annual check-up of your rain leader to determine if any damages or blockages could hinder the flow of water. It could include blocks, leaks and cracks at the seams. Pipe jetting is a typical method that allows you to remove large amounts of debris and obstructions off rain guideways.

3. Repairs to be made

If you find a fault in the rain-leader system, feel free to address it as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, even minor issues can turn into major issues that can cause expensive property destruction.

Maintaining or cleaning the pipe that has stopped leaking water is often impossible. Repair and excavation are usually required when the rain pipe isn’t draining.


They connect the rainwater system to drainage. So in the event of rain or melting snow on your roofing, the water flows through the gutters before it flows into the rainwater drainage system.

Water leaders are often ignored as part of home maintenance. As a result, many homeowners need to be made aware that they have a water leader or what it’s about until it ceases to function.

It is possible that water has entered your house due to damaged pipelines, blocked pipes in underground areas, bowing foundation walls or decaying yards. The ideal time to repair or maintain storm drains is before when the level of water is flooded.

Rain leader
Failed underground pipes.

A functioning sewer is an essential component of living in a home. If sewer drain pipes and lines fail, they require repairs. The remedy is:

a) Camera inspection

Camera inspection and detection of pipes eliminate the guesswork of cleaning and maintenance of sewers by revealing precisely where to look for damage and issues. However, it can be challenging to identify problems for pipes located in walls or underground. It is why the assistance of technology that scans will help.

It will evaluate the condition of each sewer across all the pipes. The plumbing positioning technology can locate piping and connections throughout the house.

b) Clean and flush the drain.

Once you have a clear image of the rain leader’s system, every problem area will go through a thorough flush and clean drain. If drain cleaning isn’t efficient, a physical repair is necessary.

The cost of maintenance for the rain leader starts at just $395. The cost increases after that depending on the extent of the system’s complexity and the amount of time needed.

Rain leaders categories

Rain leaders could be divided into inside leaders and external leaders.

a) Inside leaders

It is situated in a cold-protected section of the building. The plumber installs it. It is constructed from forged or cast iron pipes. It is watertight and gas-tight.

b) Outside leaders

They are made from sheet metal that has loose slip joints. They are fitted by a sheet-metal worker who is about 5 feet up above the grade. Outside leaders as high as 5 feet higher than grade should be constructed from iron pipes or cast iron to be able to withstand the roughness of usage.


If your house has an unfinished basement or other areas with rainwater problems, think about installing a rainwater leader. Rain leaders can be put in at low levels and do not require extensive excavations on the area. In addition, they are fairly easy to set up and effectively alleviate the most common rainwater issues.

  • First, you should clean the roof’s base using a hammer or chisel.
  • Dig a hole in the front of the roof edge so it is possible for the drainage pipe to be directly inserted into the ground.
  • Once the initial steps have been done, we can fix the adapter to both sides of the drain based on the specific direction it is placed in the system.
  • After completing all necessary connections, The sealant is used to ensure the constant circulation of water through the rainwater components while safeguarding outdoor spaces and plants from damage by floods and runoff.
Rain leader
Underground setup

The outside leaders must be equipped with a box for service at the top, from the roof, where water is able to be discharged. The service box has to be low enough so that, in the event the leader gets iced, it can allow the water to move over the box without spilling onto the roofing.

The inside leaders should be attached to the drain by an 8 pounds, or 18 ounces of seamless copper pipe installed securely into the drain and connected to the stainless steel pipe with the help of brass sockets or nipples rubbed with brass or lead. The opening for an attachment ought to be in the shape of a mushroom for easy access to rainwater without losing head. It should secure the entrance with the help of a copper wire basket to stop leaves and other debris from falling out.


The rainwater collected by your gutters and pumped out of the pipes could cause it to degrade and damage your home’s foundation if not properly managed. Rain leaders can stop this from happening. They help keep the basement dry. A functioning rain leader is essential in maintaining an uninhibited and dry home space.

Author: Mahvish ShamimHi, I am Mahvish Shamim. A chemist, and content writer. I love working with WordPress and doing it the right way. Also passionate about spreading awareness about the environmental crisis. Through my skills, I will deliver high-quality work.

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